Thank you to everyone for contributing, and I hope that Prelude and Growth Britain will continue to inspire business owners and start ups across the country to drive innovation and growth. Keep up the good work.

Lord Young, Enterprise Adviser to the
Prime Minister

Join the debate! Tell us what you would do to make Great Britain, Growth Britain and let us know which ideas you agree or disagree with.

Submit your idea.

Finishing school for university graduates

One of the biggest qualms for businesses is that graduates / college leavers that they employ have very few workplace skills.

A number of voluntary finishing schools around the UK could solve this problem.

They would only need to be a few weeks long but could teach essential skills like how to answer a phone correctly, how to take notes at a meeting and so on.

This would not only make graduates far more employable but it would reduce the time and cost for businesses to train up staff.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Thu 20th Feb 2014 at 20:09

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Make University Sandwich Courses Mandatory

A university degree no longer makes a candidate stand out from the crowd with over 50% of young people opting to go university after studying at A Level.
Instead, employers are finding that the candidates have a wealth of theoretical knowledge that they have never put into practice and often struggle to adapt to real life business situations.

I believe that sandwich courses should be the degree standard - you study for two years, have a year in industry (full time and paid) and then go back to university to complete your final year. This allows students to put theory into practice, increase their skill set, build their CV and put themselves in good stead to get a job after graduating.

I completed a sandwich course and many SMEs were offering full time paid opportunities. I gained a huge amount of experience, paid off my overdraft during the year and subsequently was offered a job once I graduated.

This is a win-win for students and SMEs looking for a pool of fresh talent to hire from. If you are a business owner, get involved with universities in your area!

Gemma Roberts, The Supper Club | Wed 22nd Jan 2014 at 13:18

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Global business as a means of change

The brightest students are educated to work hard, get good grades, choose a profession and look for a well paid job.

Young people are increasingly challenging those ideals for their lives. Factors such as a greater freedom of information through the internet have led to greater social awareness.

Often this social awareness and resulting dissatisfaction is directed to lower impact activities.

I propose introducing business as a means of change from an early age.

Schools are beginning to encourage entrepreneurial mindsets by setting business challenges to sixth form students. I propose introducing these ideas to children in a structured manner, and much earlier.

Just as children study more traditional subjects from a young age while increasing the complexity over time, I propose the same for entrepreneurship education.

Unlike some more traditional subjects, business skills are best learned by practice. Classes where children are encouraged to spot opportunities in their local community would allow them to develop an enterprising mindset. Is the grass too long in local parks? Can we pay for it to be cut by selling the cut off to local shops as pet feed?

By working on toy challenges such as this for several years, by the time they reach GCSE or A level age the young people that feel passionately that air travel pollutes, for example, will strive to study engineering and start companies that commercialise cleaner technologies.

By fostering business as a means for global change from a young age we encourage more british people to found the global corporations of tomorrow and lead change in the world in a financially sustainable way.

Bilal Khan, Unii | Wed 15th Jan 2014 at 10:57

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Sorry but what do you mean by a structured manner? and how much younger
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 17th Jan 2014 at 14:31

To make business a force for good we need to concentrate teaching empathy while children are young to solve the social issues of tomorrow.
Then to make us the most enterprising and innovative nation we need to get the UK connected to the IoE and make Sustainability; Code; Data; Algorithms; entrepreneurship all part of the curriculum.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 19th Jan 2014 at 05:18

As I understood this exercise in "Growth Britain", the proposals would/should be short, rather than long term and provide for tangible impact. While the sentiments contained are admirable, this proposal is not about to move Great Britain's growth needle appreciably in the near-term.
David Blumenstein, TECHGB | Sat 15th Feb 2014 at 11:07

Interesting and very similar to my idea submitted months ago regarding school banks as a means of teaching practical commerce to school-age children. Pity you didn't read that before submitting this.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 21st Feb 2014 at 14:10

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Internship system over university

Many undergraduates do not enjoy studying for their degree. This is because they feel the subject matter does not apply to their lives after university. They also may not have any ideas or experience of jobs they could apply for after graduating. This creates an attitude of work being undesirable and unenjoyable.

Those who want to go into medicine, law, engineering etc, will obviously need specialist training at a college or university. But for the vast majority of other people, a degree is irrelevant and even a hindrance to finding meaningful employment.

An internship system should be implemented whereby all areas of the job sector provide a two-week internship for high-school graduates that are curious about that job. If they want to progress further, they would do a four- or five-month internship with the same company/service provider. Then they would apply for a job.

The contacts and experience gained through internships would enable a young person to decide what job they are best suited for. If, after a two-week or five-month internship they want to try another area, then they simply do another internship somewhere else.

Anyone interested in academia, particularly in the social sciences or humanities, should apply for a two-week position with the relevant academic scholar, in which they would be taught skills and work on a critical project.

In this way, young people will be able to choose their employment faster and more effectively than if they had done an irrelevant degree beforehand.

Zoe Coutts, University of Aberdeen | Sun 12th Jan 2014 at 20:19

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How would this be funded ? Having someone on an internship takes organisation, and can require things like increased insurance cover. How many of these could a young person take? This is in many ways similar to my proposal on educating careers officers.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Tue 14th Jan 2014 at 00:45

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Increasing studying abroard

Early exposure to foreign countries and peoples make it easier later in life to want to do business there. Yet proportionately fewer UK students spend time abroad than almost any other European country. Fewer UK SME export, too, than other European countries - just 1 out of 5 according to BIS. Encouraging our young people to experience other countries and make friends will, in the long term, encourage trade and exports. Places to start would be to promote the ERASMUS programme better in Universities and encourage more work experience placements outside the UK.
David Frodsham, Little Venice Partners | Sun 12th Jan 2014 at 13:09

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Teacher training days - why ?

Otherwise known as Baker days after the education minister who introduced them, these days are tacked onto school holidays because teachers need to be trained. A very recent example locally: the children in our local primary school returned on the Tuesday not the Monday because the staff were being educated. No thought is given to the parents who had to return to work on that Monday and aren't afforded this day off. I'm sure time is precious, but teachers never had these days before Norman Bakers' stint, so do we really need them now in the 21st century with Internet and online learning available to all ?
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sat 11th Jan 2014 at 00:20

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Student Loans repayment system

The current student loan system encourages earlier repayment based on income. Designed to be deducted at source and paid monthly. Many entrepreneurs will have a catalogue of debts, income streams, unexpected bills, taxes and cashflow issues at the beginning of their business journey.

The current system is not flexible in aiding the entrepreneur during startup or expansion and not well understood.

If we are to encourage todays students who are already feeling the pressure of the student loan system to start businesses we need to add felxibility to the repayment system at a bare minimum.

Gary Smith, Prism | Tue 7th Jan 2014 at 18:58

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This is conceptually a good idea, but nowhere do you actually say how you want to do this? Buying years of repayment delay for extra interest payments or a higher rate?, is that what you're thinking ?
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:35

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Foreign language training

Whilst I believe that a number of schools require pupils to take a language (other than English) through to 16, the scope of those languages offered should be broadened to include Chinese, Japanese etc.

But the method of teaching should be conversational and relevant to commerce and daily life, not learning the participles and tenses in a theoretical setting.

I would also mention that I took Latin and whilst I failed dismally, it is remarkable how often what I was taught is of use in the modern world.

Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 22:45

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Learning languages is useful for a number of reasons - not least the ability to think in a different way. I find a basic (school-level) knowledge of Latin useful but I think learning one of the key business languages (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, etc) would be perhaps more useful for vocational reasons.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 10:54

I'm giving this one a definite like. I was forced to do spanish which personally I didn't like at all but recently been taking up Japanese classes and found it to be a fascinating! I would support a move such as this but on the flip side would there be enough support (teachers), money to fund and ofcourse space in schools to cover this additional lesson made available?
Jake Budd, Urban Jungle Apparel Ltd. | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 19:33

I am not sure how the current British education system offers, but I grew up in Germany where it is very common to learn 3 foreign languages throughout high school. Funny enough, Latin was my first foreign language, even before English, and I believe it really strengthened my logic skills.

Today I can definitely see the advantages of the German curriculum with many of my friends being able to work comfortably in various countries. I don't think there will be a lot of additional space needed in schools. It is a matter of priorities. Learning Chinese, Spanish, Japanese will definitely be useful for teenagers in their future lives. Some other subjects might not be as useful. Why not swap them?
Lu Li, House of Li | Fri 13th Dec 2013 at 13:59

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Easy business banking for student enterprise

Work with banks to create a simple and cost effective way for students to be able to set up a business bank account. This would allow schools to develop their own bespoke enterprise programmes, giving students a more realistic experience.
Gary Durbin, 4 Colour Learning | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 20:30

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This sounds like a good Idea but schools should be able to do this with out a bank account!
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 14:26

Or perhaps the school can set-up one or more accounts and have students takeover the account each year?
Duncan Cheatle, Prelude and The Supper Club | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 12:20

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Addressing Collaboration illiteracy for improved Creativity and Innovation

Many children, despite being successful in Education, fail in Life and work. There are also many who failed in Education yet go on to be successful in Life and Work.

This is down to children being literate in how they get on with themselves and others while trying to meet specific needs that allow them to progress towards a specific achievement, goal, purpose or way of being. This process is the way Emotional and Social intelligence are applied to meeting specific needs for a desired outcome, what Jazz Rasool has come to call 'Collaboration Literacy'.

Collaboration Literacy can bring people success even if they have a lack of ability in the basic literacies of Reading, Writing, Arithmetic or the STEM subjects of Science, Technology Engineering or Maths. As such Collaboration Literacy must be a primary literacy that is more significant as a metric of success than the other literacies. Collaboration Literacy can often be learnt before even coming to school for the first time. As such it should be considered the first literacy as it can be learnt in advance of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

An individual that can 'get out of their own way' will find their way. Individuals who have got out of their own way, when getting together with others who also have, will naturally collaborate and engage in Creativity that leads to Insight and Innovation vital for development in Life, Work, Business and Society.

Research shows people collaborate with themselves and each other effectively when following a 'Collaboration Cycle' of steps. Online software profiles a person's Collaboration Literacy and provides visual maps of ability for guidance on development. People can be matched to others for mutual collaboration where shared development and growth can be fostered including in groups or teams.

European funding has been granted to help London Creative & Digital businesses use Collaboration Literacy for improved Creativity & Innovation

Jazz Rasool, Energy Diamond Ltd | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:05

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Congratulations for this essential subject that needs much more attention today in all sectors, even beyond education.
Cristina Miranda de Almeida, University of the Basque Country | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 14:36

How will this grow Britain?
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 14:40

75% of Leading company executives regard skills in collaboration to be critical for businesses to grow in a sustainable way.

If a person cannot collaborate with themselves it is unlikely they can sustain collaboration with others. Whether in school, university, society or work, if a person fails to get on with themselves and others they will be negatively marginalised and not be able to contribute to their own growth, the growth of their community let alone Britain.

A person needs to get the right proportion of Support, Challenge and Reflection each day. If they cannot do that for themselves they must work with others to get what they need so that they can sustain their growth.

When people give one another the Support, Challenge and Reflection they need then they grow in a mutually empowering way. Support, Challenge and Reflection are critical for growth and creativity and are like vitamins people get from their food. If they don't get their 'three a day' of Support, Challenge and Reflection then growth is likely to happen too slow, too fast or not simply be sustainable.

Collaboration Literacy is being fluent in knowing what support, challenge and reflection you need each day to achieve sustainable and mutual growth.

Without Collaboration Literacy we will all be living in a Boom to Bust society... oh hang on minute, because we have suffered from rampant Collaboration illiteracy we are in such a society!
Jazz Rasool, Energy Diamond Ltd | Tue 17th Dec 2013 at 14:49

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Digital strategy and web design for school

Since the UK government decide to go Digital First, a lot has been achieved. However, the ICT programme for school is totally inadequate.
Keen to do something about this, I've been teaching digital strategy and web design to Year 6 (10-11 year old children) one afternoon per week at Barnes Primary School for the past 2 years.
The main objective of this programme is to get the kids to build their own website in Wordpress.
Each lesson has a short presentation, a group discussion (class or small groups), and hands on work.
My programme covers :
- history of the internet
- how to review websites
- Audience definition and user persona
- Write a simple website brief
- Create a site map.
- And finally, build a website.

The children are very enthusiastic and so are the teachers I've been working with. So far, we have built over 50 websites about a range of topics: gaming, baking, animals, maths, and more creative ones like “rating the government”, “things to do in a wood”, World War II planes…

This programme could be extended or adapted to secondary school to include statistics, creating a mobile responsive theme, logo design, developing a plugin…

Bertie Bosredon, Bertie Digital Services ltd. | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 09:49

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Creative Education

My initiative and solution to grow Britain is to concentrate on partnerships, collaboration and sustainable business models.

I aim to utilize our universities to inspire the ambitious and entrepreneurial students and communities surrounding them.

Through collaboration and a very simple system, this initiative could support over 500 independent start ups next year, that is with out entering a single university.

What we do in the university will create and support far more businesses, setting the foundations for students and the surrounding communities to launch, promote and expand their businesses.

We need to rethink how we use
our education system.

Not only do our universities churn out the future professionals, they can also churn out sustainable businesses which are far more likely to succeed and support our economy.

Our universities are full of pretty amazing characters!.
We have experts,researchers and an abundance of extremely ambitious, passionate and intelligent people who want to get involved in one thing or another.

Collectively through community engagement, Our students, fellows and communities can use our education system to match skills and create opportunities.

As they grow, our initiative and all involved grow.
We create a sustainable cycle of growth.
Not a bubble.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 04:31

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Agreed, Universities are a real melting pot of talent and collaborations with research departments and academia could have a positive effect on sustainable growth.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 14:13

Praxis Unico, Science Capital and others already make a great contribution in this area. Furthermore Universities are starting to open up their IP and invite offers to exploit it, even royalty free. Have a browse!
Malcolm Durham, Flexible Directors Ltd | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:23

PraxisUnico looks Good!
Beneficial, Interesting and could ideally support an initiative such as mine.
What We are do is no way similar.

The presence of any other organisation or business working in the same sector is not negative, it confirms there is a need. We all need to adapt to the ever changing environments and contexts we operate in.
If cooperation and partnerships can not be made. Competition and merely the existence of something similar is no grounds for any one to quit.

I think you would benefit greatly from this initiative.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 15:36

I really like the idea too of universities being sites for collaboration. How might this actually happen (I am not really clear from above) and is this something that needs business/government input on?
Duncan Cheatle, Prelude and The Supper Club | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 13:06

We work closely with the University (Or Business) and create regular bespoke events Utilizing unused space. We Crowd Source and tailor our events to suit the target audience.
These Pop Up Events will support student and community development and supply an affordable route to market for Creatives, Start Ups and Local Independent businesses.
The events will be run by student volunteers, creatives and the entrepreneurs, as such it will provide a sustainable culture of collaboration and real life experience of being involved in and running a successful Event/Business.
We will provide a healthy growing network, mentoring and ongoing professional support for all the events.

Only with the help of the Government will this idea reach its full potential.
Our main problems at present are red-tape and the absence of anything similar. There is also a lot of confusion around planning which has been a big issue, with out clarity, backing and something to support this initiative it will not be possible.

I hope makes It clearer for you.

Thank you for the comment.
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 11th Jan 2014 at 00:43

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Innovation Centres, For All Ages

Innovation Centres on Universities throughout the whole of Great Britain should be the standard and not just the exception. These centres should be open to entrepreneurs of all ages and not just University students.

For most entrepreneurs, the whole idea of starting and building a business is virgin territory for them, and they need a locale where they can: work on their idea/product/service, learn how to run & administer a business, gain knowledge and wisdom from mentors, and find themselves in an environment fostering growth and success.

These centres should span multiple disciplines and industry, not just technology.

Universities, at the start, are a logical location for such centres for reasons of: location, geography, logistics, access and resources

David Blumenstein, TEKWORKS | Mon 2nd Dec 2013 at 07:58

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I am currently setting up a social enterprise which plugs into the corporate social responsibilities of Universities and businesses.
we aim to provide A launch pad and Start up development program to nurture
Promote and Inspire.
The Idea is entered on here. Take a look at Creative Education.
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 14:50

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Make school hours 9 to 5

Most jobs are 9 to 5 and students should be prepared better for the real world whilst still at school.

Secondly, a lot of parents who pick up their children from primary school would like to work later but either cannot go to work or have to leave early to collect their kids. It would help parents and the economy, having to collect students later.

An hours physical education per day is good for two reasons. Firstly it should greatly help the obesity crisis in the country. It should help students keep slim and should promote a healthy lifestyle. Secondly, it should improve the sporting talent of students and allow them to try new sports. In the long run, this should help improve the UK’s sporting achievements.

Finally, it would give schools the opportunity to provide an extra lesson per day, which in the long run should help make British students more intelligent.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 19:18

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Preparing children for 9-5 will not grow Britain.
The world is no longer 9-5. Most businesses operate 24 hours and If you run your own business which is becoming ever popular due to the lack of jobs for young people, its more like 18 hours a day. Still, when you sleep your dreaming about work.
If your business operates globally via the internet then the need to work around the clock will be needed.

Its not about making people do things. Its about making or giving people reasons to do things.

preparing children for a 9-5 is not inspiring.
preparing people for jobs that may not be their is a waste of time.

Scientists, researchers, Surgeons, entrepreneurs, Not even chefs work 9-5.

Also I wonder what all the teachers which strike periodically about pay would say about an increase in hours?

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 15:10

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Specialisation in schools

Integrate all secondary schools in each borough.

Each school would specialise in a particular area. For example one school can specialise in Business and Technology whilst another school could specialise in Humanities and so on.

In the UK we rightly put students in to sets based on ability. It usually works out that the most intelligent set are taught by the schools best teacher in that particular subject. Students mix with other students of a similar level and therefore development isn’t stunted for anyone. This works because the most intelligent students are pushed whilst the least intelligent can go at their own pace and actually learn rather than being left confused at harder theories. By pooling schools, the sets will become even more refined because the best students from the whole borough will be in the top class whilst the least clever will be in the same class which helps give them develop at the pace that is right for them. From my experience, in schools the ‘top’ classes still have students in them that are far behind others of that class and this affects learning. The most intelligent in the class are held back because some ideas have to be gone through a number of times to allow others in the class to catch up, and the least intelligent in the class sometimes feel forced to move on when they haven’t understood an idea because they don’t want to seem stupid or don’t want to hold the class up. Similarly, in the lower classes there are often students who are put in a bottom group and go at a slow pace but are much more intelligent than others in the class and this holds them back. By increasing the amount of students, the groups should be far better suited to ability and therefore the standard of education should increase.

I have tons more reasons but have run out of characters. Basically specialisation goes back to Adam Smith in 1776. It will allow each school to excel in one particular area rather than being OK in lots of

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 19:15

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A more imaginative national curriculum

Many contributors have already picked up on the need for IT education in schools to be reformed (encouraging coding, digital skills etc).

I believe there are plenty of other subjects that if re-energised with some imagination could provide young people with employable skills and encourage enterprise.

Replacing Business Studies with an enterprise-focused subject would seem a natural starting point - final exam to present your business plan. But the opportunities are broad in other subjects, e.g. an optional copy-writing unit in A Level English, more emphasis on product design in Design Technology.

Generally I believe a more flexible approach is needed with secondary education, recognising the need for traditional academic subjects but also allowing for innovation.

Who knows, some changes might even re-engage people who otherwise find school boring?

Tom Hurst, Prelude Group | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 14:16

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Whenever this comes up it's difficult to find a better model than good old fashioned apprenticeship. As things stand kids are in school in one culture until they are 18 (hopefully) and then they are flung out into the completely different culture of work after a half hearted attempt at 'career guidance'. A more effective bridge would be useful.
James Coakes, Lens Digital Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 15:44

I really like this concept and naturally agree with the enterprise-focussed subjects. My concern is that if we have too broad an offering, we dilute what is currently available and end up despecialising our teaching resources - perhaps we need to see more specialisation of individual schools once children hit KS4.

Devil's advocate: should we be less imaginative and focus our efforts solely on our comparative advantages as an economy? Risks involved but wouldn't it be great if we were world leaders at something rather than being generally 'good' across the board?
Ben Cook, Clever Tykes | Wed 4th Dec 2013 at 21:56

Tom I like the way you think and share the opinion that we need to change the current education system.
I have developed some great concepts to allow this freedom and style of learning. This can be done with out changing or adding to the current system.
Through collaboration and partnerships we can provide reasons for students to enjoy learning. Give them real life experiences which helps them relate to their studies and understand the importance of those subjects.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 15:27

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Computing in Schools

The new computing curriculum launches in schools in 2014. By the age of 14, young people will be able to code in two computer languages. This will reduce the UK skills gap, mean that students can get the jobs they want, and that employers can find talent at a local level. BUT a potential crisis is looming: teachers don't posses the skills to teach computing and coding. The solution is for industry to support teachers and students, for mutual and commercial benefit to all parties. 2-minute video here:

Will Akerman, MyKindaCrowd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 09:47

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Benefit or no Benefit?

We know of the 'benefit culture' which is plaguing this Nation & worse still...seems to be the model many school kids are growing up with!

Would it not be pertinent for anyone on benefit to earn it as others earn their income through work? For example: if you are on (work/job seekers) benefit, you do X amount of hours of Community service based on the minimum wage.

a) the community who pays the benefits (taxes!) actually gets some pay back!

b) the individual can learn/re-gain a work which, self respect & pride

c) being in a working environment opens the way for opportunity, creative thinking & entrepreneurship

d) the Community may start to respect those earning their keep & actually help them back in to work!

This all has nothing to do with "human rights"...which is exploited ridiculously.
The Govt go on & on about putting this Country back in the lead...well..first step is to show true leadership & not back down to many of the pathetic HR claims, etc which people use to merely claim money from! The Govt didn't have a problem sending men to perhaps it's time to send people to work...FOR THE SAKE OF OUR NATION!!

Joe della-Porta, della-Porta design Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 00:20

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Im sorry but we have all suffered the effects of the recession.

Unemployment is at its highest, not because people don't want to work, but because our country has took the brunt of a global downturn, been involved in unnecessary and costly wars and for to long has made the same mistakes over and over again.

The majority of the people on benefits want to work. There just isn't the opportunities. By treating people who are desperate to work but are unemployed, the same as criminals giving them compulsory community service is no solution.

What do we do with criminals? keep them in our over crowded and costly prisons!?

What happens to our council workers?
Do they lose there jobs, then have to earn a basic salary doing what they did before but claiming benefits to do so?

By all means create voluntary opportunities.. that is a good idea!

People on benefits deserve respect and help and growing Britain is not about blaming people!

Yes people need to be made accountable but to grow Britain we need better solutions than this!
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Wed 4th Dec 2013 at 16:48

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closing of courses

The cost of running a workshop is high. The need for a workshop is paramount in the furniture/joinery industry. Due to rising costs to students & colleges alike, colleges are either diluting skilled courses &/or closing workshops.
This is restricting the number of hands-on practical courses available in the Construction sector (joinery, cabinet making, carpentry, etc). The result is...a shortfall in semi & skilled labour & future business owners.
You cannot learn practical skills form a book! They need to be practiced.
I have taught in a modern college on a 3rd year City & Guilds course. The sad thing is, the standards have dropped so much (since I did my apprenticeship 20 years ago) that in honesty...most of the 'graduates' are pretty unemployable! They have a piece of paper but very little sense of reality...due to the increasing bureaucracy & cuts in college funding.
We NEED our craftspeople back in this country...they form part of our heritage & our future individuality.
Entrepreneurship isn't solely about suits &'s also about practical skills & initiative.

Funding MUST be available for the infrastructure of education & courses MUST get back on track to educate, not theorize!

Joe della-Porta, della-Porta design Ltd | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 23:59

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Remove the need for degrees in some roles

My older son wanted to be a paramedic. He was told he had to obtain a degree to do this, however the Uni and Ambulance Services were so badly organised he eventually dropped out. Despite having to work full shifts for no pay, attending road accidents and all manner of proper events, he has little or nothing to show for this effort. The Government should review the need for a degree in this case and many other professions where the nanny state has decided that academic qualification is preferable to on-the-job training.

Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 21:12

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I think some roles a degree should not be essential, those jobs will usually accept applications from people with experience or a good C.V and cover letter.

In this case (Paramedic) I believe comprehensive training and a degree is suitable as a requirement. I was a victim in a RTA and a police officer who arrived did not know what Ashma was! I think when your job involves human life, you should Need qualifications.

While I can understand your frustration at the university, being a mature student and experiencing various difficulties. The ambulance service is under immense pressure as is most other areas of the nhs service. I don't think dropping out was a good idea, that will be why he has nothing to show for his effort, but that is my opinion.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 15:43

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